Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
September 19, 2018IM -
by Mary Beth Blakey, AFM Electronic Media Services Division Contract Administrator
Assigning the correct EMSD agreement to streamed content can be a precarious enterprise. Business models and methods of consumption for streamed musical performances are subject to continuous change. The Federation’s streaming agreements are continuously evolving to respond to the industry. Outlined here are our four main streaming agreements and a brief overview of their terms and conditions.
Live Streaming Agreement
The Live Streaming Agreement is to be used only for content streamed on a true live basis, simultaneous to the recorded event, with no content remaining available on a website or other streaming platform after the fact. The scales tied to this agreement are $100 per hour, per side musician, with a one-hour minimum. The required pension contribution is 14.17%, along with a $24 per day health and welfare payment.
On-Demand Streaming Agreement
Under the On-Demand Streaming Agreement, an employer may stream content that remains available on-demand after the initial performance. The wages start at $197.20 per hour, per side musician, with a one-hour minimum. The required benefits are a pension contribution of 14.17% of wages, and a $24 per day health and welfare payment. The initial payments cover a six-month term of use on streaming platforms, with 6.6% aggregate payment of gross receipts required every six months thereafter.
Edited Concert Streaming Agreement
The Edited Concert Streaming Agreement covers content filmed live and cut into individual songs for subscription video on demand (SVOD), like Apple Music, and/or ad-supported video on demand (AVOD), like VEVO. The scales are $421.56 per 15 minutes of audio, in addition to a $113.16 image fee per filmed song, per side musician. For a single song, not to exceed seven-and-a-half minutes, the audio rate is $278.24, in addition to a $113.16 image fee. The health and welfare contribution is $27 per day and the pension contribution is 14.17%. These wages cover an initial six-month cycle, with an additional 7% of gross receipts due as an aggregate payment every six months thereafter, for any subsequent streaming. This agreement may not be utilized for theatrical productions; symphonic, opera or ballet performances; or performances outside the US.
Promotional Streaming Agreement
Under the Promotional Streaming Agreement, the signatory can film up to 30 minutes and stream up to three minutes of a performance on social media streaming platforms, for the sole purpose of promoting live union engagements by the same signatory. The payment required is an additional 10% of the performance wages required by the Local Single Engagement Contract covering the live event, in addition to a 12% pension contribution. This agreement is not available to symphony, opera, ballet, or chamber orchestras with collective bargaining agreements or to producers of theatrical shows.
This article is meant to be an overview, and not an exhaustive or definitive way to assign a streaming agreement to an individual performance.
For streamed orchestral or symphonic content, contact Debbie Newmark at
For streamed scripted or dramatic content, contact Matt Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure a project does not fall under Television Film Made for New Media.
For streamed talk, variety, or live competition content, please determine if it is covered by Television Videotape Made for New Media by contacting me at (email@example.com).
Contact me also if you have questions about any of the above agreements or information.